Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Is the Reid-Pelosi-Obamacare bill DOA?

Why the Reid-Pelosi-Obama health insurance bill will be struck down (providing the conservative side of the U.S. Supreme Court can stay alive).

Insurance Stocks Rise on News of Health Care Deal; What's It Mean? “As of 11 a.m. Eastern time [yesterday], stocks for the six largest publicly-traded health insurance companies [rose] by an average 4.49 percent, as weighted by their market capitalization. As the S&P 500 index had gained 1.09 percent as of 11 AM, these stocks have overperformed the market by 3.40 percent. Although some of the gain may reflect unrelated good news in the health sector, it is safe to assume that most of the improvement in prices [reflect] the Senate's health care bill passing.” (h/t: fivethirtyeight.com)

Cutting deals: Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) says of the dealmaking it took to get the bill – “There are 100 senators here and I don’t know that there’s a senator that doesn’t have something in this bill that isn’t important to them,” Reid said. “If they don’t have something in it important to them then it doesn’t speak well of them.” There’s statesmanship for you.

Senate majority scold Harry Reid (D-Casinos)...

So it is political: From The Foundry - “While the President’s most ardent supporters are trying to explain to each other why the benefits of the bill do not start until 2014, they are openly admitting that Obama’s deficit busting claims are complete fiction:

  • The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein: “The delay is a budget trick, an attempt to lower the 10-year cost of the bill at the expense of the very people we’re trying to help.”
  • Mother Jones‘ Kevin Drum: “I’m pretty sure the 2014 date is mostly due to budget finagling. This stuff can’t be done overnight, but I’ll bet most of it could be implemented within 12 months, and it could certainly be implemented within 24.”
  • Talking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall: “My impression is that some of the delays are there because it makes the budgetary accounting work better in terms of deficit neutrality. And I know the Dems would likely lose critical support without being able to show that the overall bill actually lowers the deficit. But if that’s the main reason, I suspect the legislative authors may be too clever by half since they may be slitting the bill’s and perhaps their own throats in the process.”

Can you say, “backlash?”

He'll have many more questions to answer in the months (and years) to come...

Add backlash: Now appearing in the dictionary with a photo of Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.)? Seems his constituents have had a belly full and are now giving him an ear’s-worth

Last add backlash: Could Sen. Christopher “I’m a friend of the mortgage industry” Dodd (D-Conn.) be looking forward to future payback from voters, too? (For so many reasons, let’s hope so.) “A $100 million item for construction of a university hospital was inserted in the Senate health care bill at the request of Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., who faces a difficult re-election campaign, his office said Sunday night.” (h/t: Washington Post)

Senator Christopher Dodd (D-Payoffs)...

How popular is Obamacare out here beyond the Beltway? According to a Quinnipiac University poll released today, “As the Senate prepares to vote on health care reform, American voters ‘mostly disapprove’ of the plan 53 - 36 percent and disapprove 56 - 38 percent of President Barack Obama's handling of the health care issue.”

Say aloha to those vacation plans!

Our man in Hawai'i...

Radio appearance alert: I'll be on The John Batchelor Show tonight at 8:50 p.m. PST, reporting on happenings - political and otherwise - in the west. You can listen to the show on WABC-AM 77 NYC, WMAL-AM 630 Washington, D.C., and on XM/Sirius Satellite Radio (throughout the universe). If you’re not in one of the listening areas, you can tune-in via those stations’ websites. See you on the radio!

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